One of the classic radio voices in the Big Ten conference — Maryland’s Johnny Holliday — spent almost two hours Thursday morning talking shop with Mike Haile and Brian Barnhart during “Mike in the Morning” on WHMS.
Before he became play-by-play announcer for the Terrapins, Holliday was a Top-40 DJ, which was part of the subject matter discussed with Haile and Barnhart.
Holliday told a story about how he was once rejected for a job by Westinghouse Broadcasting. Years later, he went to work for the same guy who had earlier told him “no.”
Holliday famously introduced the Beatles on stage in San Francisco for the super group’s final U.S. stop.
He had some extra time on his hands this week thanks to Maryland’s schedule. The team had been at Champaign’s I Hotel since playing at Iowa on Monday.
Barnhart picked up Holliday early Thursday morning for the short drive to the radio station.
“This has been a real pleasure,” Holliday said at the end of his segment.
Holliday has called Maryland football and men’s basketball games for more than 40 years. Despite the longevity, the 84-year-old is not the dean of Big Ten radio voices. That title goes to Indiana’s Don Fischer.
“I call Don Fischer ‘Mr. Fischer,’” Holliday said. “One of the nicest guys around, outside of Brian of course.”
Holliday talked about the relationships he has with the other conference broadcasters.
“There are more tight-knit guys in the Big Ten than there were in the ACC,” Holliday said.
Late in Thursday’s broadcast, Haile played a compilation of Holliday’s DJ work, which was compiled by producer Blake Landa.
“I got paid for that,” Holliday said.
Holliday had a successful stint at San Francisco’s KYA before moving to the Washington, D.C., area.